By Nicole King
Cruel, inhuman, degrading; All words to describe the death penalty, a punishment of execution after committing severe crimes. This act goes against a human’s right to life and to live free. These rights were announced in the Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted in 1948
The death penalty has always been one of the most fiercely debated issues in the United States since some believe it should be legal. As our country grows older and wiser, however, evidence points to the fact that the death penalty is never the answer. I believe humans should be protected by their rights and have to remain in prison for eternity as opposed to death.
In the United States, humans receive the death sentence after commiting crimes such as treason, espionage, murder, and more. Since 1976, there has been 1,468 cases where citizens have committed these acts in such impacting ways that people feel there is no better punishment. Methods used to kill these people include lethal injections, electrocution, gas chambers, hanging, and firing squads. Though these ways of execution are harsh enough to send a message to others to not commit crimes, it can also be viewed as the “easy way out”.
Senior, Zack Odachowski, stated, “There is always the chance that someone sentenced to the penalty is innocent and if this were to happen, it is already too late.” With many cases proving this to be correct, we must stop wasting time and get our country on the same page against the penalty. When people perform such evil acts, they need to pay their debt to society in a prison cell where they will suffer and not be able to be participate in a normal lifestyle. If sentenced to the death penalty, they will never have the opportunity to learn from their mistake and see the wrongs in their previous actions.
Currently, 105 out of 145 countries have abolished the penalty, but why stop there? Nineteen states have taken this option away, Maryland being one of them. This law was passed by Governor Martin O’Malley on May 2, 2013. O’Malley is now strongly encouraging all other states to stand up against this unnecessary procedure and abolish it once and for all. Sophomore, Julie Thomas, agreed that “America as a whole has the potential to do anything they put their mind to.” With this being said, if everyone sticks to their beliefs, we can make a change.
Besides preventing unnecessary death, eliminating the penalty saves us from wasting money. On average, it costs about $1.26 million to complete and $90,000 per year for tax payers. Maryland specifically has costed citizens over 100 million dollars in the lifetime of their cases. Stop spending more money than needed and take a stand to abolish the death penalty once and for all. The expensive, easy way out is not worth the elimination of criminals in our society. If we all stand together, I believe we can make a change and save lives.